Focus on loyalty,
not retention

One of the words you’ll hear a lot in the fitness industry is retention. Traditional operators have, for a long time, measured the % of their members they are able to retain and employed methods to keep people from cancelling their memberships. Especially now, with the backdrop of COVID-19, there is naturally an even greater focus on retaining members and protecting revenue.

Here at TRIB3, you won’t hear the word ‘retention’. Not because we don’t love seeing our TRIB3Rs, session after session, maximising their fitness and hitting their goals, but because a community is not something that is built from retention, it is built from connection and it is powered by loyalty.

What might seem like a small difference in language, makes all the difference to us. Retention, taken directly from the Oxford Languages dictionary, means “the continued possession, use, or control of something”. In contrast, loyalty is defined as “a strong feeling of support or allegiance.” Loyalty is something that is nurtured and cultivated through relationship and trust and has been a linchpin of the boutique model since it’s emergence in the fitness sector.

Built around experience, in a smaller, group setting, boutique fitness capitalises on a primal, tribal sense of connection bringing likeminded people to create powerful communities. Typically offering flexible, ‘pay as you play’ package options and erring away from traditional long-term subscriptions, focus is around usage and engagement to drive repeat business and relationships.

Retention in a boutique fitness setting doesn’t really apply, but loyalty does. As a store matures and the community comes together, 80% of monthly revenue will come from repeat business. Our consumers keep coming back as they see results, feel the connection and also share their love for their brand by inviting their friends along for the experience. Loyalty is the emotional part of staying with a fitness provider because you feel inherently invested in, and proud to be associated with, the brand. Especially now, we need to shift the conversation from “how do we retain our consumers during the pandemic?” to “how do we continue to show how much we value their loyalty? How do we stay connected?”.

At TRIB3, it’s always been about giving people such a memorable and unique experience through the community that we build and the workout they come for, that people choose to stay. Not because they have to, but because they want to.

At the heart of our brand are our pillars of community, innovation and results. These translate through our day to day operations in many ways – for example when we introduce new elements to our workout or when we come together to celebrate milestones on the TRIB3 Workout Journey – but they always ladder back to our fundamental purpose: which is bringing people together (community) through next-level workout experiences (innovation), and sweating together (results).

We foster the community aspect by focusing on the relationship we have with our consumers, making sure they feel valued and heard and always communicating with them, through quarterly surveys, weekly emails, and always welcoming feedback. We keep them engaged through continuous, considered innovation, such as adding a new at-home workout platform so even when our stores are closed, we can still train together with TRIB3 Live, which in turn, continues to strengthen our community.

Lastly, we focus on educating our consumers to make sure they understand the best way to achieve results specific to them. We provide our TRIB3Rs with information on how to optimise their performance during their sessions and how our custom heart rate system works so they can track their progress as they level up in our Workout Journey. Through engaging communication and education, we are able to help our TRIB3Rs achieve next-level results.

Our customers and our growing community are at the heart of our brand with our brand pillars there to help us foster their engagement and loyalty. No matter the size, spec and location of each TRIB3 store, every time you walk in and in every interaction, you’ll feel that sense of togetherness. It’s logical to retain, it’s powerful to create loyalty.

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